There’s nothing like a campervan roadtrip, particularly in a country as stunning and diverse as Australia. Before you get going, there are a few things you should know
1. It is difficult to beat Australia for natural wonders
From the majesty of Uluru in Northern Territory, to the stunning Great Barrier Reef off the Queensland coast, Australia is home to an array of natural wonders. Be sure to plan your trip carefully, as you don’t want to find that you’ve missed out when you return home!
2. You can’t always rely on your credits cards, or WiFi
Australia’s WiFi internet is notoriously poor, which makes the traditional backpacker activity of piling into a coffee shop or restaurant to check some emails and catch up on Facebook a little difficult. Be prepared to go without internet for a while, particularly inland. Also, debit cards, contactless payment and mobile pay apps are becoming the norm in many places, but rural Australia is not one of them. Best to carry some cash around at all times.
3. Australia is full of incredible animals
For animal lovers, Australia has it all. From unique marsupials to incredible birds – both of the flying and flightless varieties – you are likely to have more amazing photo opportunities than you can count whilst you are on your trip. The country has a bit of a reputation for majestic, and terrifying crocodiles, particularly in the north. Always keep your wits about you in rural northern areas, and avoid wandering off trails or wild swimming.
4. The cackling sound you hear in the outback at night (probably) isn’t a ghost
The outback is full of wonderful – and often weird – sights, but what about sounds? One of the most unique is that of the Bush-Stone Curlew, whose nocturnal call has been likened to that of a wailing banshee. That said, Australia is home to its fair share of ghostly tales, including the story of Emily Bollard who was tragically struck and killed by a train in the Redbank Range Tunnel, NSW in 1914, and whose shadow is said to haunt the spot to this day. Mind how you go
5. It’s all about the journey
With so much to see and do on your route, you are not going to have time to get bored. Go at your own pace and enjoy the stunning topography; just remember to stay safe. Among the most famous journeys anywhere in Australia is the 3,200km road trip from Darwin to Adelaide, but even this seems rather small-fry compared to anyone travelling east to west. Always carry plenty of fresh water, emergency supplies, and a first aid kit, as towns are few and far between, and don’t forget to enjoy the road-trip of a lifetime
6. The beach life is real
As an island – and quite a large island at that – Australia features a vast coastline stretching over 37,000km. Spread around this coastline are over 11,000 of the most stunning beaches imaginable. Hop in your campervan and try to see them all!
7. Australia is home to perhaps the most ancient civilisation on the planet
Australia obtained independence from Britain in 1901, but its history stretches back much further than this. In fact, Australia’s indigenous cultures rank among some of the oldest anywhere on Earth. Be sure to spend time appreciating these cultures on your Australian road trip.
8. There are plenty of savings to be found
Don’t listen to anyone who tells you that Australia is too expensive; those people were doing it wrong. In fact, there are many savings to be found without affecting the enjoyment factor of your trip. Selecting a campervan over the standard train/flight/hotel combo is a great start, as is looking for BYOB – bring your own bottle – restaurants. Be smart, be savvy, and have a great time.
9. The sun is something of a big deal here
One thing which you absolutely must do before beginning your road trip is pack the sunscreen. Australia is renowned for blistering summer days, on which it is advised to stay out of the sun between 10am and 2pm. At all other times, re-apply your sunscreen every eighty minutes, even if you are in and out of the shade.
10. And so are the temperatures
Australia’s temperatures can be a little surprising. The summer highs are to be expected (the mercury exceeded 45.8 Celsius in Sydney back in 2013) but the plummeting winter lows in some parts of the country are not.
Are you preparing to travel to Australia in your campervan? Perhaps you have been already; what did you do before you set off? Don’t forget to let us know.